As similar phenomenon to what we have discussed above involves the question of why the massive, armored Ankylosaurus dinosaurs are almost always found fossilized lying on their backs? For example, 26 o ut of 37 fossil ankylosaurs discovered in Alberta, Canada, were found upside down. Paleontologists have puzzled over this belly-up death pose since the 1930s. Now a new theory presented in 2017 at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Calgary, Alberta suggests this happened because of a flood mechanism. “We used computer modeling to show that ankylosaurs likely flipped over due to a phenomenon called ‘bloat-and-float,’ where the gases that accumulate in the bloating belly of the carcass cause the animal to flip over while suspended in water,” states researcher Jordan Mallon, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ontario, Canada in an interview with Live Science. The computer model showed that when an ankylosaur’s center of gravity (a downward force) didn’t match its center of buoyancy (an upward force), a disturbance such as a breeze, current or wave could cause the rotund, bloated animal to turn upside down. After some time it would sink that way and get buried and fossilized.
To the left is a beautiful mosaic that was one of the wonders of the second century world. (Click to enlarge or see The Nile Mosaic of Palestrina for more details). Housed in Palestrina, which is just south of Rome, this masterpiece depicts Nile scenes from Egypt all the way up into Ethiopia. Scholars now believe this is the work of Demetrius the Topographer, an artist from Alexandria who came to work in Rome. The top portion of this remarkable piece of art is generally believed to depict African animals being hunted by black-skinned warriors. These Ethiopians are pursuing what appears to be some type of dinosaur. The Greek Letters above the reptilian animal in question are KROKODILOPARDALIS, which is literally translated Crocodile-Leopard (apparently identifying an agile reptilian creature). The picture shown here is only a small portion of the massive mosaic. It also contains clear depictions of known animals, including Egyptian crocodiles and hippos. (See Finley, The Light of the Past , 1965, p. 93.)